TOPEKA, Kan. (Legal Newsline) - Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt joined 12 other state attorneys general Monday to ask the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency not to impose new oil-production regulations without consulting all affected states.
Multiple northeastern states are trying to convince the EPA to put new federal regulations in place on the emission of methane gases during oil production activities. Kansas and other oil-producing states argue that EPA's historical stance of avoiding further regulation is sound and that the regulatory decision should stay at the state level. The oil-producing states argue that if the EPA is seriously considering the new regulations, it should further discuss the matter with the states that produce oil.
"Regulatory actions have costs and consequences, and in this case, those costs and consequences will be felt by the industries and economies in Kansas and other oil and gas producing states," Schmidt said. "It makes no sense for federal regulators to negotiate the issues with non-producing states."
The coalition of AGs sent a letter to the EPA last week that said the federal regulation of methane emissions from gas and oil facilities is not appropriate and that emissions are currently being controlled in compliance with existing regulations imposed by the states. The letter said the federal government should include producing states in the discussions if the EPA disagrees with the current state of emission regulations.
The letter also took issue with EPA emissions data.
"The justification for those estimates has been challenged by mounting evidence, including voluminous data and investigation of potential flaws in the statistical methodology," the letter said.
The other states signing the letter were Wyoming, West Virginia, Texas, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, North Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, Indiana, Arizona and Alabama.